IndyGo Colts shuttle a no-go

August 29, 2008
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busCongestion getting to the Indianapolis Colts games is as much a problem as congestion once fans are in the new Lucas Oil Stadium. It appears that traffic flow and parking are real issues around the facility on the south edge of downtown.

Despite pleas for an express bus service from Hamilton County to the new stadium on game days, IndyGo won’t be playing ball with that initiative, even though transportation experts said such a service could be profitable for the public transit system.

The reason? Simple, said Indy spokeswoman Ronnetta Spalding. A regulation recently forwarded by the Federal Transit Administration doesn’t allow public transit systems to compete with privately-owned charter bus services. Huh? Doesn’t every bus and subway service nationwide already compete with taxi cab companies. Don’t government supported railroads compete with private trucking firms. There must be thousands of such examples.

And what about those IndyGo express shuttles from downtown to Speedway for the Indianapolis 500? Well, according to Spalding, after more than 20 years, those too are history. IndyGo got a special waiver from the FTA to continue the service this year. But next year, a waiver won't likely be granted.

“We can’t just take a bus off-line to do an express route for a special event,” Spalding said. “That’s considered a charter service, and the FTA thinks that should be left to the private sector. We are encouraging people to use one of our regular routes.”
  • There needs to be some sort of shuttle from every side of town, IndyGo or private operator. Parking prices have gotten out of control. There is no way I'm paying $30+ to park for a game on top of higher ticket prices.
  • This regulation is stupid!
  • I hate to bring this up, but I was in Denver a few years ago and they have wonderful bus service to and from their stadiums provided by the city buses. Don't they have to obey the same federal rules? The buses seemed to run full or nearly full. You have to think that they are making money with this service. Why would a service like that work well in Denver and not in Indy?
  • Stan,
    The key words in your post are a few years ago... you'll see on this link (below) that this rule is not only affecting Indianapolis. This is from the South Florida Business Journal regarding Miami-Dade Transit not being able to provide buses for Dolphins games, even after providing this service for 30 years. So, I'm sure Denver is being affected the same way now as well.
    Here is the link:

    So, don't be quick to put the blame on IndyGo. The blame belongs on the FTA rule (the federal government).
  • It will be interesting to see if the private sector addresses this demand. If it doesn't, it seems insane that the FTA wouldn't grant IndyGo a waiver. Making life easier for Colts fans and making much needed money for IndyGo ... seems like a win-win. But then again, why would the feds go for something that makes so much sense.
  • Apparently this bus service is still in operation in Denver, here’s the link to description for the current season

    I agree with everyone else who says it seems like a dumb rule. I don't blame IndyGo, unless they are using this as an excuse.
  • Despite pleas for an express bus service from Hamilton County to the new stadium on game days,

    Wait a sec, isnt IndyGo an Indianapolis public transportaion service?

    What the hell would they be doing going up to Hamilton County in the first place? Look I am for a game day shuttle but my tax dollers are not going to pay for a shuttle that I wont be able to use.
  • Garbage!

    I go to games with most of my friends that do not live up in Hamilton, but I do. And I like to drink at these Colts games... see the problem.

    When a law or regulation like this one is just flat out wrong and impractical, it needs to be changed.

    The next option is to organize a bus service. Never taken a ride on IndyGo, but would for a Colts game. If they wont, I would gladly take a bus service if somebody would set it up.

    SOMEBODY CHARTER A BUS OR SHUTTLE FROM HAMILTON TO DOWNTOWN. There are tons of people that would be interested and it would cut down on those drinking and driving and saves gas.
  • It's only the 2nd year for this rule, and the private transportation sector hasn't totally filled the void yet. Free Enterprise, Greyhound, etc. need to get with the program. There is plenty of demand for this service.

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